Marseille have the opportunity to salvage something from a dismal season on Wednesday when they travel to the Stade Auguste-Bonal to face Sochaux in the Coupe de France semi-final.
Head coach Michel has endured a dreadful first campaign at Marseille with just eight wins from 34 Ligue 1 fixtures, leaving the club six points clear of relegation.
Their woeful form continued with a 2-1 defeat against Monaco on Sunday, meaning the south coast club have triumphed just once in their past 12 matches in all competitions.
It is not just on the pitch that Marseille have experienced turmoil, however, with fans protesting against their displays and owner Margarita Louis-Dreyfus putting the club up for sale.
But Wednesday night represents a chance to secure a trip to the cup final at the Stade de France and end a turbulent campaign on a high note, although the under-pressure Michel does not consider his side to be favourites against the Ligue 2 outfit.
“I’m not the one who should say that we have to save the situation, we should see it on the field,” said a disconsolate Michel after his side’s latest defeat.
“We are in a complicated situation because of the results achieved so far. Whether there is a risk or not, we must face the situation and deal with it.
“The players were not focused on the Coupe. And we’re not the favourites, considering what we showed tonight. We will have to prepare not only tactically, but also mentally.”
Marseille are the competition’s most successful club with 10 Coupe de France triumphs in their history, while Sochaux have won the tournament twice.
The Montbeliard-based club last lifted the trophy in 2007, overcoming Wednesday’s opponents 5-4 in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.
Since then, Sochaux have slipped down to the second tier.
Albert Cartier’s side appeared to be on course for a second relegation in three seasons but a run of five matches without defeat, including three victories, has hauled them away from the drop zone.
With Sochaux in the ascendancy, Marseille must produce a drastically improved performance if they are to avoid failing in the only route for European qualification left open to them.
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